Wataniya Telecom plans LTE-A upgrade

29 Nov 2013

Abdulaziz Fakhroo, General Manager and CEO of Kuwaiti cellco Wataniya Telecom, has announced that the company has completed a USD400 million infrastructure project, which can potentially allow for a network upgrade to LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) technology, local news agency Kuwait Times reports. Mr Fakhroo revealed that Wataniya Telecom is prepared to deploy the LTE-A network ‘as soon as the necessary licences are obtained.’ The executive stated that in cooperation with vendors Ericsson and Huawei, the company is committed to provide ‘the newest and top quality technology for our clients’, adding: ‘A modern and advanced network is the key to any telecoms company’s chances to achieve great success and maintain strong position among competitors’.

According to TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Wataniya is the third company in Kuwait to announce LTE-A deployment plans; in September 2013 Kuwaiti cellular operator Viva pledged to upgrade its 4G wireless network to LTE-A technology, which it says will provide theoretical peak download speeds of 1Gbps. Viva’s core network had already been upgraded to support LTE-A and the operator begun end-user trials on its access network, although a commercial launch date for the new technology had not been disclosed. Further, in November 2013 the country’s leading cellco in terms of subscribers Zain Kuwait revealed its plans to roll out LTE-A in selected areas of Kuwait in a move designed to support its aims of becoming an enterprise services provider. Zain Kuwait is testing prototypes and expects to offer LTE-A enabled handsets before the end of the year or in early 2014, with smartphones following in mid-2014.